Social Roots of Prejudice

Topic: Social Roots of Prejudice

Posted by: Min & Julie

Key Terms:

  • Ingroup: "Us" – people with whom one shares a common identity
  • Outgroup: "Them" – those perceived as different or part from one's ingroup
  • Ingroup bias: The tendency to favor one's own group
  • Scapegoat theory: The theory that prejudice offers an outlet for anger by providing someone to blame

Summary: Prejudice can arise from inequalities, social divisions, and emotional scapegoating.
Social Inequalities:
People who are rich or have authority and honor can develop attitudes that justify things. Victim of discrimination can produce either self-blame or anger. Both reactions may create new grounds for prejudice through the classic blame-the victim dynamic.
Us and Them:Ingroup and Outgroup:
We cheer for our groups, kill fro them, die for them. Australian Psychologist John Tuner note that through our social identities we associate ourselves with certain groups and contrasts ourselves with others.
Mentally drawing a circle that defines “us” (in group) exclude “them”. Such group identification typically promote an ingroup bias.
The urge to distinguish enemies from friends and to have one’s group be dominant predisposes prejudice against strangers. Many studies reveal that facing the terror of death tends to heighten patriotism and produce loathing and aggression toward those who threaten one’s worldview.
Prejudice may express anger: When things go wrong, finding someone to blame can provide a target, a scapegoat, for one’s anger. Evidence for this scapegoat theory of prejudice comes from high prejudice levels among economically frustrated people.

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Social Roots of Prejudice - The NeuronSocial Roots of Prejudice - The Neuron

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